Testing before the big day…

I am trying to get ready for theĀ Day of DH 2010, tomorrow. So, I’m hoping to edit this and the comments seciton

Not yet tomorrow…

Tomorrow is Day of DH and I am wondering: Why Thursday? Why March? Why the 18th? I am wondering because Friday the 19th is going to be unbelievably cool and it would have been great to write about that. This is not to say that all my days are cool or even that most of they are… Just once in a blue moon we have something really different happening over here and it would have made me look like a cool person… or a nerd who thinks she is cool.

In any case, today is today, which means that I can write about something that is not tomorrow. And so, in preparation for tomorrow, I am writing about Friday.

Friday the 19th is when Terry Jones will be at the University of Birmingham and before you ask… No, it is not the Terry Jones that studied at the University of Birmingham and now works at UCL. Nope, not that one. It is the funny one. Yes, that Terry Jones. Oh well, I guess that I will not get to blog about one of the most unusual days of my year. Did I mention that part of the plan is to take him for a tour of VISTA?

Late start.

It’s 6:58 am and I’m late checking my e-mail. We are all rushing this morning because my classes (normally taught on Mondays) start at 9:30 am. The first one is “The Electronic Book” and the second (starting at 11:30 am) is a research methods module, “Textual Criticism.”

I have now checked my e-mail and there is nothing important. However, I learned that Melissa Terras will get a new computer after all. I also had to explain to Norman what Day of DH is.

Ready to teach.

Right now, I am ready to teach “The Electronic Book.” Since I have a few minutes before the class, I can write a little bit about it.
I often refer to the course as “History of the Electronic Book” because it covers the major technological changes in book production and not just those directly related to e-books. But I guess that it would have been too pretentious a title (which is why the official name is different).
Today we will cover metadata standards, markup and transformation. I also want to talk about institutional repositories, but only if everything goes smoothly and we have time left from the other activities. It should be fun because we have to work with actual files that will result in the final project for the course. I wonder if everything is going to be up to scratch.
Next week is the last class, and we will discuss the future of e-publishing.

Afternoon

OK, I finished my teaching and, after answering e-mail, skyping and having a chat with people in the office, I am ready to go back to my article on the encoding system developed for the Divine Comedy. After I have written some of that, I will go back to e-mail because I have a message that I have to reply to, but I need to think a bit more about it before I reply.

The end of the working day

This should be the end of the working day. However, instead of leaving our computers behind to do other things, we now use them for leisure.
I will probably skype my parents and then check my e-mail, facebook and twitter before getting a film in iTunes or something like that.
Computers are such an integral part of our lives… My heart goes to Melissa that has to cope for a few days without one.

The e-Book and the Codex

This morning, my friend and writer, Juan Carlos Chirinos, asked whether I thought that the e-books will supersede the codex some time in the future. Well, he actually asked whether I could get my students opinions on the matter.
As it happens, Michael Clark, who is doing our MA in Electronic Editing, thinks that codices and e-books will exist side by side for many years to come. I am almost sure that he said this in a hopeful manner, that is, he wishes that codices and e-books end up in a happy marriage of tradition and innovation.
I have been working on an article entitled “The Future of the Book,” and I am not quite convinced that there is going to be a pacific coexistence or even that this is going to happen at all. The e-book readers seem to be gaining terrain rapidly. Last September, when the news hit that the Kindle version of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol was outselling the paper copies (see this article), I realized that things are already changing.
The likelihood is that hardcovers and specialty books (architecture, photography and design) will still remain, but paperbacks might have something between five and ten years before we wave goodbye and see them transformed into the stuff of curiosity shops.